It seems that the older I get, the more early memories of my life simply disappear. I’ll get a glimpse of an image, but for the most part, there are whole chunks of my childhood that I cannot remember. What I do recall doesn’t follow any kind of pattern. There’s no telling what will flashback, or when.
There are even events in my children’s lives, those moments I told myself I would never forget… gone.
Yet, moments that seem of no consequence are forever remembered.
When I was about six or seven, my family lived in a huge apartment complex. Our building was near the entrance, and the road in ended in a cul-de-sac. All of the neighborhood kids would congregate there, playing ball, riding our bikes, being complete nuisances.
One summer a new family moved into the complex. They were Japanese and the parents spoke very little English. They had two young daughters, one a little older than me, the other a little younger. I don’t remember their names, but I do remember the older girl taught me how to fold origami cranes.
For whatever reason, I can recall that lesson and 45 years later, with a bit of trial and error, I can still fold a paper crane.
It intrigues me that this simple memory has remained with me… how to turn a piece of paper into a bird. Why was this significant enough that it is perpetually embedded in my brain?
*From the Vault of IMSO, edited and updated. Originally published Feb. 5, 2010